Australia claim draw against World Number Two
Tuesday August 7, 2012
Australia has finished off their pool matches with a tense nil-all draw against world number two, Argentina.
Australia needed a win against Argentina to progress to the semi-finals where they would play off for a medal.
However, it was Argentina who only required a draw to progress and subsequently played accordingly, holding Australia scoreless for the 70 minutes.
The first half was dominated by Australia who attacked the Argentina goal on a number of occasions.
Georgia Nanscawen, Megan Rivers and Emily Smith proved hard work for the Argentina defence.
It was the dynamic Australian defence, comprised of Kobie McGurk, Jodie Schulz, Kate Jenner and Toni Cronk, which held firm throughout the match and intercepted any circle penetrations forced by Argentina.
A well-earned half time break gave Australia time to review ways of breaking down the Argentina defensive press.
The second half turned into an all-out attack from both teams as pressure mounted for a result.
With the majority of the play happening in the midfield, it was Teneal Attard and Kate Jenner who controlled this section of the pitch for the Australian’s.
Their tackling and disposal, as it has been all Olympics, was world class and restricted the impact of the Argentina strikers.
The final 10 minutes saw both teams penetrate their opposing circle, with opportunities gone begging.
A last ditch effort by the gallant Australian team in the final minutes, couldn’t crack the tight Argentina defence.
Australia finished off their pool matches with an outstanding record of three wins, one draw and a loss.
Victories against world number three, Germany, the USA and South Africa instil confidence in the group leading into the fifth v sixth playoff match on Friday.
Australia, Argentina and New Zealand finished equal on top of Pool B with 10 points each. As a result, goal difference is used to determine which team qualifies through.
With Argentina on eight goal difference, New Zealand on four and Australia on three, it was extremely unlucky for Australia to miss out.
Australia will face world number five, China in the fifth vs sixth playoff on Friday (8:30pm AEST). China has had an up-and-down tournament with wins against Great Britain and Korea, but losses to Japan and Netherlands.
Australia will be hoping to secure a fifth place finish, two places ahead of their world ranking. The Australian women also claimed fifth at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Australia drew with Argentina nil-all
Best Players - Australia: Teneal Attard, Kobie McGurk, Kate Jenner. Argentina: Luciana Aymar, Macarena Rodriguez Perez, Rocio Sanchez Moccio.
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